Key messages

  • The Department of Health and Human Services is engaged in health literacy and information initiatives to reduce access barriers and to improve health outcomes.
  • The Patient Information Brochure Initiative commenced in November 2014.
  • The Report of the Victorian 2014 Consultation on Health Literacy presents four overarching themes.

The Department of Health & Human Services is engaged in multiple health literacy and information initiatives to reduce barriers and to improve the health outcomes of all Victorians and specific population groups who experience health inequalities.

Patient Information Brochure Initiative

In November 2014 the department launched an initiative to make available more than 330 patient information brochures on specialist medical services. These brochures have been downloaded free of charge more than 80000 times by Victorian public health services.

Health literacy report

The Report of the Victorian 2014 Consultation on Health Literacy summarises issues raised by consultation participants in workshops (conducted between February and April 2014) and submissions received. It contains recommendations and outlines principles, criteria and advice to guide future implementation actions. The health literacy report presents four overarching themes arising from analysis and synthesis of the material to aid discussion and consideration of the next steps:

  • Build the capacity of consumers, carers and community members to influence the health literacy agenda and outcomes.
  • Enhance the communication capabilities of health professionals and health services.
  • Systematise the development and provision of health information.
  • Implement policies and systems to improve Victorians’ health literacy.